Friday, March 26, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Pt 1: Pope Benedict -We started this segment with a clip of Gigi Budzinski speaking at a press conference yesterday. She's talking about her father, Arthur Budzinski. As a child, he was abused by Father Lawrence Murphy at the Catholic School for The Deaf in Milwaukee.
Today's guest host was Jim Brown.
It's Friday, March 26th.
Michael Ignatieff says that he doesn't think his leadership of the Liberal Party is in danger and that "I don't think my troops are shooting at me."
Currently, Besides, the party has been firing blanks for years.
This is The Current.
Pope Benedict - David Clohessy
We started this segment with a clip of Gigi Budzinski speaking at a press conference yesterday. She's talking about her father, Arthur Budzinski. As a child, he was abused by Father Lawrence Murphy at the Catholic School for The Deaf in Milwaukee.
Arthur Budzinski was hardly the only victim of abuse at the School for the Deaf. Between 1950 and 1974, Father Murphy molested as many as 200 boys. It's one of the most shocking episodes in an already long litany of revelations about children who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests.
At the time, Pope Benedict the Sixteenth was Cardinal Ratzinger. And he was in charge of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that -- among other things -- decides whether priests should be defrocked. And now new reports suggest that Cardinal Ratzinger's office knew about the abuse at the School for the Deaf and chose not to punish Father Murphy and to keep the story under wraps.
Pope Benedict - Jeff Field
The Vatican has responded to the allegations against Pope Benedict by saying that Church laws do not require automatic punishments and therefore that the decision to allow Father Murphy to remain a priest until his death is defendable.
Jeff Field is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. It's the largest Catholic civil rights organization in the United States. And Jeff Field was in New York City.
Pope Benedict - History
The allegations against Pope Benedict have led some to argue that he has lost the moral authority to lead the Catholic Church. For his thoughts on the issue, we were joined by James Carroll. He has written extensively about the history of the Catholic Church. He's a distinguished scholar-in-residence at Suffolk University. His latest book is Practicing Catholic. He was in Boston.
Liberal Conference - Gerard Kennedy
If you happen to be one of Canada's leading thinkers, there's a pretty decent chance the Liberal Party of Canada has asked you to be in Montreal today. "Canada at 150" is a Liberal-Party-sponsored conference. It starts today and runs through the weekend.
It's modeled after previous landmark Liberal "brainstorming sessions" like the Pearson-era gathering in Kingston, Ontario in 1960 or the Chretien-era conference in Aylmer, Quebec in 1991. The speakers include Nobel-Peace-Prize nominees, journalists, activists and even one of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Chiefs of Staff. The listeners will be anyone willing to pay the 700-dollar registration fee.
But if you happen to be a Liberal MP, there's an decent chance your party has encouraged you to stay home. Now that's not stopping Gerard Kennedy. He's the Liberal MP for Parkdale-High Park in Toronto. He was in Montreal.
Liberal Conference - Panel
The organizers of the Liberal conference in Montreal hope that it will produce some of the same magic that emerged from a similar brainstorming session that took place in Aylmer, Quebec in 1991. That gathering ultimately led to the "Red Book" ... a package of policy proposals and campaign promises that helped propel Jean Chretien's Liberals into government two years later.
Eddie Goldenberg was one of the organizers of the Aylmer conference. He also helped draft the Red Book. Eddie Goldenberg was also Prime Minister Jean Chretien's Chief of Staff and Senior Policy advisor. He's now a partner with the law firm Bennett Jones. And James Travers has been following the lead-up to this conference closely. He's the Toronto Star's National Affairs Columnist.
Moscow Promo - Russia Revealed
The Current will be broadcasting from Moscow on Monday and Tuesday next week for a special called "Russia Revealed."
Jim Brown talks to Anna Maria in Moscow as she and our Senior Producer, Joan Webber gather material for two special editions of The Current next week. Anna Maria joined Jim on the line from Moscow.
Yugo Cars - Phil Edmonston
We started this segment with a clip of Tim Howard. He's a law professor at Northeastern University. And he's heading up a consortium of lawyers who are suing the Toyota Motor Company over problems with its cars. It wasn't that long ago that Toyota had a reputation as one of the most reliable car manufacturers around.
But the company's image has taken a beating over the last two months ... ever since it announced that it was recalling eight vehicles, including recent models of the Corolla and Camry. The recall included about 270,000 vehicles in Canada. And the issue isn't going away.
Earlier this week, news reports revealed that the company might have known about the sticky gas pedal problem that sparked the recall as early as 2002. And the federal government says it will consider bringing in tougher safety-reporting standards on automakers. This after executives at Toyota Canada acknowledged that after they discovered the gas-pedal problem, they waited several months to issue a recall.
For his thoughts on what all of this has done to the Toyota brand, we were joined by Phil Edmonston. He's a consumer advocate and the author of the Lemon-Aid guides to used vehicles. He was in Panama City, Panama.
Yugo Cars - Jason Vuic
Now in the pantheon of bad cars, the most notorious of all may well be the Yugo ... a boxy, economy car from the 1980s.
Jason Vuic is the author of a new book called The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History. He is a professor of modern European history at Bridgewater College. He was in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Last Word - Yugo Jokes
Remember, stay tuned for Russia Revealed next week. Anna Maria Tremonti will be back hosting on Monday for the first of two Special Editions of The Current from Moscow.
We ended the program today with what is probably the Yugo's most enduring and endearing legacy ... Yugo jokes. Enjoy.